METAPHORMING and the Art of Science Learning

Art has a way of pointing things out through implicit picture-statements that express our intuitions. These are the primary physical and conceptual ‘‘vehicles of imagination’’ that move us through the windows, doors, and open highways of our metaphors. Naturally, science does its share of pointing,...

Fluid Sculpture – Science and Art Integration

The concept of STEM to STEAM continues to catch on across the country. Regardless what many short sighted members about the value of arts education, they miss the point. Art is a key element in producing well balanced approches to STEM. The sheer nature of...

Amazing Magnetic Art Sculpture – Where Science and Art Dance

Ferrofluid is a very interesting material originally developed by NASA it has now found itself been used for a whole range of devices including dampers for controlling and stabilizing large building that move around in the wind. Whats also amazing is that they have such...

STEM and STEAM Education – White House

Research shows that the arts and support crucial developmental skills in creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. The Arts are also a part of that Autodesk Animation Academy curriculum. Immerse students in science, math, language, arts, and technology with Autodesk® 3ds Max® or Autodesk® Maya®...

NSTA Reports – Reaching Students Through STEM and the Arts

NSTA Reports—Debra Shapirostudent doing art: NASA Stennis Space Center

Teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are discovering that by adding an “A”—the arts—to STEM, learning will pick up STEAM. “Students remember science learning situations that contain multi-sensory, hands-on activities or experiments,” which the arts can bring to science lessons, says Dawn Renee Wilcox, science coordinator for the Spotsylvania County School District in Fredericksburg, Virginia. “The arts are also useful for helping students make transitions and connections between science content or concepts through thought and expression.”

“Allowing students to use artistic methods to show their understanding of a concept, event, or object will elicit a wider range of student responses and participation,” says Inez Liftig, eighth-grade science teacher at Fairfield Woods Middle School in Fairfield, Connecticut, and field editor for NSTA’s middle level journal, Science Scope. “To understand the nature and role of science, it is important to compare and contrast it to other areas of study to see similarities and overlaps and differences. Looking at the history and development of all subject areas shows how knowledge, STEM, and the arts are all part of society and reflect the society of different periods in history,” she explains.

Liftig believes combining science and the arts “also lets students see how both of these have been and still are quests to examine and explain the world around us…Students see that curiosity, creativity, imagination, and attention to detail are traits common to artists/writers and scientists.”

The STEAM Movement: It’s About More Than Hot Air

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Photo courtesy of BAVC
Arguably one of the biggest movements in education over the last decade is what is more commonly referred to as STEM education. It seems that everywhere you turn these days: granting organization initiatives to political platforms, White House campaigns and for-profit and non-profit programs are all talking about the importance of STEM education. How does this movement relate to the media arts and does it reflect the current needs of students in K-12 education? What happens when you add the letter “A” to STEM? It’s about more than simply creating the word STEAM.

What is STEM education?
STEM education refers to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is an educational initiative that is supported at both the national and state levels, from governments to foundations and scholars alike.

Why STEM?
Many assessments of K-12 students over the last several years have indicated that the United States is falling significantly behind other countries when it comes to student performance, and interest in, STEM subject areas. The argument for STEM education is that if the United States continues to lag behind other countries in educating its students in what are deemed necessary 21st century workforce skills in science, technology and most importantly innovation, then the consequences for the economic and political power of the United States may be dire.

Who supports STEM?
It would seem that nearly everyone in the United States supports the STEM movement. Most recently, President Obama launched the Educate to Innovate initiative to support STEM education in K-12 schools. This initiative also includes partnerships and collaborations with for-profit companies, non-profit organizations, foundations and schools. STEM education is also endorsed by a growing list of academic and science and research-based organizations throughout the country. One of the most complete lists of organizations who endorse STEM education can be found through the STEM Education Coalition’s website. Perhaps most importantly, STEM is increasingly being touted in political candidates’ education platforms for the upcoming election year.

How is STEM related to the media arts?
Nationally, two organizations specifically, have launched STEM education initiatives that coincide with President Obama’s Educate to Innovate campaign, both of which incorporate the media arts.

The first is Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds initiative, which is “a five-year $100 million dollar philanthropic initiative designed to increase students’ awareness and skills in STEM-related fields specifically through the exploration of different media forms.”  Recently, Time Warner has launched the first of a series of programs they refer to as “Crack the Codes” as a part of their overall Connect a Million Minds initiative. Launched in late March of this year, the first program was entitled “Cracking the Codes in the Digital World” and was designed to show K-12 students the science behind broadcast technology through on-site visits and meetings with Time Warner staff.

Closing the Digital Divide

John M. Eger – Huffington Post

Lionel Van Deerlin Professor of Communications and Public Policy, San Diego State University

Posted: Posted: 06/7/11

As globalization spreads, it is imperative that we not only close the “digital divide” in hardware and infrastructure, but also use technology to dramatically confront the world illiteracy problem in developing nations today.

In many parts of the world, a system of education either does not exist or girls, for example, are not privileged to get an education. Cyber education may be the only alternative to providing the basic skills for economic survival.

UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics provides a rough estimate of the world budget for education in the world, and comes up with the figure of about two trillion dollars. This of course, does not include money spent for tutoring, private schools, museum visits and the like.

But every child needs basic math and science and language skills, at least the three R’s and then some. So like payroll software, which every enterprise needs, why can’t we provide these forms of instruction through Cyber-Schools? Why can’t we develop the best, brightest and most practical methods of learning and make them widely available using the technology we have before us?

The Economist magazine recently teamed with Innocentive, an award granting corporation, as it advertises itself, connecting ” seekers with solvers” to enable other corporations the “shortest, most cost-effective path to finding a solution. “

Defining Technology and Media: An Important Step for Teaching Necessary 21st Century Skills

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Using technology in education is not a new phenomenon. Though this type of integration may be more prevalent now in the 21st century than what it has been in the past, it has existed in education in some form or another for decades. Media integration, on the other hand, is consistently referred to as a relatively new phenomenon in education. Although complete media integration is not yet commonplace in classrooms throughout the country, media’s use in the classroom, much like that of technology, is seemingly old hat (who didn’t enjoy “movie day” in the classroom?) Although “movie day in the classroom” has shifted from slides and projectors to DVDs and YouTube as a result of rapidly-changing technologies in the 21st century, media use in the classroom remains prevalent nonetheless.

So, what is the difference between media and technology? Is there a difference? If so, how does this difference affect classroom integration, pedagogy and, perhaps more importantly, student development of 21st century skills in the classroom and beyond? Can we teach media without technology, or technology without media and what does this mean for the current, and future, states of education integration and reform in the United States?

What’s in a Definition?

One of the most important reasons to define and clarify the relationship and distinction between media and technology is funding. When seeking funding for the many education initiatives centered around STEM, STEAM, STREAM, technology integration in the classroom and everything else in between, the relationship between media and technology must be clearly distinguished in an effort to expand upon the types of programs that may be available for additional types of funding. There are a lot of funding initiatives that have centered on STEM, and more recently STEAM, and although these terms do not explicitly relate to media integration in the classroom, most if not all are likely to relate to some form of technology integration in the classroom and across disciplines.

Another important basis for defining the differences (and similarities) between technology and media lies in conducting research, which ultimately has effects on funding efforts as well. There are a multitude of great reports that examine teacher use and attitudes towards media and technology, such as the annual Digitally Inclined report and, locally here in Pittsburgh, the Arts Education Collaborative’s biennial arts education Professional Development Report. When we ask teachers to articulate their interest in either media or technology, should we also add a follow up question that asks them to not only clarify their understanding of both terms, but also their use of both media and technology, separately and inter-dependently, in the classroom?

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center GEOMETRY PLAYGROUND STE[+a]M

your entire body into a whimsical exploration of math at the new "Geometry Playground" exhibition. Exhilarating hands-on exhibits will have you playing a goofy game of hopscotch, climbing a structure of giant multi-sided shapes, crawling through corkscrew tunnels and creating geometric works of art, all...

Is the Left-Brain Useful to Art?

These days, people associate the right brain with art, probably due to Betty Edward’s bestselling book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” that was published more than two decades ago. Is the left side of brain, or math/logic/analysis, really useless for art? Can...